Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron has many fans throughout the hockey world, but perhaps none more so than his fellow players who don the spoked B sweater alongside him.
One of the all-time great defensive forwards in NHL history, Bergeron boasts a whopping four Frank J. Selke Trophy awards to his name throughout the corse of his career. Not only that, but he's demonstrated an ability to be a consistent offensive threat.
Upon the departure of long-tenured captain Zdeno Chara this past offseason, it was a rather easy choice to decide of who would be the next to wear the "C" in Boston.
"How long do we have"? forward David Pastrňák quipped when asked to describe the leadership abilities that Bergeron possesses. "His personality, his leadership, his worth ethic - every single day, his professionalism is insane. He takes pride in everybody else feeling good in the room every single day, no matter how long the season. We are leaning from the best of leaders, and it's been such a pleasure for me.
"Even though he hasn't been a captain with the letter in previous years, he's always been one of our leaders and we've looked up to him," explained goaltender Tuukka Rask, Bergeron's teammate in Boston for over a decade now. "He shows up every day and puts the work in on and off the ice. He shows everybody what it means to be a Bruin."
Of course, Bergeron himself remains humble as the classy player and person that he is, saying that the success that he and his teammates have been able to enjoy is the product of hard work.
"Something that was told when I grew up and when I got into the League was to always try to improve and never take anything for granted," Bergeron stated. "That's what I'm trying to do with my game better myself and be a better person and player."
"To me, it's making sure your team has character and competes," Bergeron said. "It's about coming together as a team and going forward and growing together towards the same goal."
Bergeron is doing his part to once again ensure that he and his teammates can have the opportunity to once again enjoy a long playoff run, and potentially raise the Stanley Cup for the first time since they accomplished the feat a decade ago.